State commission recommends moratorium on Oklahoma executions

4/26/2017 - Oklahoma City, OK -- (as reported by Sean Murphy, Associated Press) A moratorium on executions in Oklahoma should be extended until major changes are made to the state's capital punishment system so that an innocent person isn't put to death, a state commission recommended on Tuesday.

The 11 members of the bipartisan Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission agreed unanimously on more than 40 recommendations on topics like forensics, law enforcement techniques, prosecution and defense procedures, death penalty eligibility and the execution process itself.

"Ultimately we found that there are many serious systemic flaws in Oklahoma's death penalty process that obviously can and have led to innocent people being convicted and put on death row," said former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, who oversaw dozens of executions during his two terms as governor from 2003 to 2011. "If we're going to have the death penalty, it must be done right to ensure that no innocent person is executed."

Since 1973, 158 inmates have been released from death rows across the nation, including 10 inmates sentenced to death in Oklahoma, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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